Rich or Blind – a Perspective on Giving.
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Human rights activist Tara Teng

We should extend the ideas of James 5:2-3 beyond the mere accumulation of money and look at our penchant for gaining social position, and maintaining control. My daughter sent me this article to shake me out of my complacency: “Volunteerism: More Harm Than Good,” by Heather Ruiz. It is worth reading because the issues she talks about may be of more concern to us than monetary wealth.

Human rights activist Tara Teng

Heather Ruiz’s article reminded me that sharing wealth often has another […]

Inside Story: Trail of Death, Part 1
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Joel Sandoval

Joel Sandoval grew up in an Adventist home, but his life was not transformed by God’s grace. As a teen he resented the restrictions that the church represented. At age 15 he dropped out of church and joined a gang. He quickly became involved in organized crime, drugs, and spiritism. He had his body tattooed with symbols of the devil and began smoking marijuana. Soon he moved to hard drugs, such as cocaine.

Joel’s parents allowed him to live […]

Friday: Further Study: Weep and Howl
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studymore

Further Study: “Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God’s children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. It is a defense for the oppressed, and a means of help to the sick. But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ.

“Hoarded […]

Thursday: Blame the Victim
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

When someone has done wrong, the natural tendency is to try to escape responsibility. Often people try to do this by transferring the responsibility to someone else-including the person who has been wronged. Murderers excuse themselves by pleading self-defense or blaming their upbringing. By saying they were enticed, sexual abusers blame the victim. Husbands and wives who get divorced typically blame the other for the failed marriage. Those guilty of killing the martyrs of the Christian faith blamed the martyrs […]

10: Weep and Howl – Thought Starters
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

[Thought questions for Weep and Howl December 2, 2014]

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

1. Weep and howl! Can you imagine the impression those words made on James’ readers and listeners? What if you went to church one week, and the pastor walked to the pulpit wearing his usual invisible robe of humility but  places his hand in the open Bible and bellows to the frightened congregation, “Weep and howl!” What is going on? What is the message that follows?

2. Dangers […]

Wednesday: Fat and Happy (for Now)
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter (James 5:5, ESV; compare Ezek. 16:49, Amos 4:1). What do these passages link to luxurious indulgence?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

In the ancient world the notion prevailed that there was a fixed amount of wealth, meaning that if the wealth of some people increased, the wealth of others had to decrease. In other words, the rich can get richer […]

HopeSS: Weep and Howl
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Derek Morris 14d

You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.

10: Weep and Howl – Lesson Plan
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gless10-2014d

Key Thought : Meaningful relationships, job satisfaction, and a purposeful life gives one more happiness than wealth.

[Lesson plan for Weep and Howl December 1. 2014]

1. Have a volunteer read James 5:1-5.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. What kind of wealth is James speaking of here? Why does he warn people who have riches to weep and howl?
c. Personal Application: What injustices cause you to burn with anger […]

Tuesday: Cries of the Poor
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Reading through James, we may notice that several different categories of wealthy people are mentioned, including rich merchants who will be cut down in the midst of their pursuits (James 1:11), business people who sue to protect their investments (James 2:6), and agricultural landholders who have withheld wages from their laborers (James 5:4). These verses describe the rich negatively based on their past behavior, present attitude, and future punishment. These people have essentially heaped up treasure (James 5:3, NKJV) at […]

I Am the Rich Person James Is Talking To!
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of […]

Monday: When Wealth Becomes Worthless
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Read James 5:2-3. What warning is James giving here? Though his words are quite strong, what kind of wealth is he talking about? What’s the basic message?

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Rotting wealth, moth-eaten clothing, and even silver and gold rusting-these are images for us to consider soberly as our planet spins blissfully on, faster and faster toward its demise.

The world’s economic situation always seems to be going from one crisis to another; even the good times, […]

Sunday: Justice Will Be Done!
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Chapter 5 of James begins with a bang: Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! (James 5:1, NKJV). No doubt, that would have gotten his readers’ attention.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

In James 1:10-11, he reminded the rich of the impermanence of wealth. Here, in chapter 5 , he urges those who stubbornly hold on to it to weep and howl. It is as if their impending judgment is even now […]